Hi guys, I just wanted to share something with the Gaslamp Ball community. I went to the game last night, and I wish I hadn't, not just because of the end result. The following is the letter I sent to the Padres this morning. Thanks for reading.
I had a very bad experience at Petco Park last night that I wanted to share with you. My friends and I were walking up the ramp to our seats in section 315, and we paused at the top of the ramp in section 329 to watch the last at bat of the inning. Khalil Greene was up with the bases loaded. There were two outs and two strikes on Khalil. The usher responsible for patrolling section 329 didn't like the fact that we stopped there. My friends had sat down in the Upper Boxes in 329, and that apparently offended this man greatly, because he motioned them out of there in the rudest manner possible short of using profanity.
Now, these weren't their seats (although there wasn't a soul in the entire section, so I don't see the harm being done), so I can't really say I object to him moving them out. He could have done it in a more courteous manner, but I've learned to curb my expectations of the staff at Petco these days. What I can't forgive so easily is his attitude following. My friends left the seats and joined me behind the blue line to watch the last of Greene's at bat. The man must have taken this as a personal slap in the face because he looked at us and shouted "MOVE ON NOW!". The look on his face suggested that if we didn't comply, some kind of physical interaction would have followed.
We weren't seat crashing, we had every intention of moving on to our seats, AFTER the Greene at-bat. If we had proceeded directly to our seats we would missed the at-bat since you can't see the field from the concourse. We paid money to watch a baseball game and that's all we were doing, watching one at-bat in a bases loaded situation, yet we were treated like scum by this rude, humorless curmudgeon. Keep in mind that walking around Petco, you see A TON of people standing near various sections watching the game.
Did this guy walk around the whole stadium herding people away, or were we just lucky? And it's not like we're a gang of punks looking to cause trouble, one of my friends was pushing a stroller for God's sake. I've been to Petco dozens of times, I am a former full season ticket holder. I know ballpark etiquette, and we did nothing wrong. My experience at the park has also given me the good fortune of meeting ushers who bend over backward to make your ballpark experience a good one.
To say this man was not in that category would be a massive understatement. Like I said, I've been to the park often enough to know that there are good people there, but my friends have not. Consequently, they leave Petco Park with a bad taste in their mouth and a negative impression of the organization I grew up supporting. That hurts me, and it should hurt you too.
Given the on-field issues the team has suffered through this year, you can't afford to alienate people like me. I have and will continue to support this team through thick and thin, but I need to know that the organization takes itself seriously on each and every level, and after last night I have my doubts.
I know being rude and stupid isn't a requirement for becoming an usher, but this guy slipped through the cracks. Personality and self-awareness should be the deciding factors in whether or not someone is hired into a position like that. This man embarrassed the Padres last night, and as a life-long fan, I take great offense to that. I hope you address this, because failure to do so would say a great deal about the state of the organization at this point, none of it good.